A California City Shows What Polarized Policing Looks Like

There’s tension in San Gabriel.

Photographer: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Which federal law enforcement agency is an imminent danger to the U.S.? The answer, of course, depends on which partisan lens you apply to the inquiry.

Republicans in Congress and the White House are waging war against the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seeking to undermine the agency’s credibility in order to cripple its investigation into President Donald Trump and his campaign. In effect, many Republicans are concerned that the FBI is not only doing its job, but perhaps doing it all too well.

A similar fear reigns in many Democratic enclaves about a different federal agency — Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under Trump, ICE, which is housed in the Department of Homeland Security, has aggressively escalated enforcement in the nation’s interior. (Border Patrol agents generally police the border regions.) Cities and whole states, including California, home to almost one in nine Americans, have declared themselves sanctuaries that resist cooperation with ICE on immigration matters.